After Audi announced its factory status in Formula E, BMW confirmed the same this week. Together with their existing partner Andretti Autosport, the German car manufacturer will develop an electric powertrain for Season 5 (2018/19).
BMW already supplied the safety car, medical car and course cars since the inception of the electric race series and partnered up with Andretti to provide technical support the following year. Earlier this year BMW was confirmed by the FIA as a manufacturer for Season 5, but this recent announcement confirms that BMW will enter a works team.
“Formula E has developed fantastically as a racing series and, as a new, technology-based project, is perfectly suited to the BMW Group and BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“Forging new paths and driving innovation – these are values shared by BMW and Formula E. Because it is very important for us to demonstrate our technological expertise, we have shown a firm commitment to this project through the registration of BMW AG as an official manufacturer and are facing up to the growing competition there.”
Marquardt always disliked the idea of swapping cars, a feature that will be eliminated in Season 5. “The changes we required for our involvement will come into effect in Season 5 – these include, for example, the omission of the car changeover,” he said.
“The series represents a completely new challenge for us – a challenge we are happy to take on together with Andretti Formula E. Andretti is the ideal partner for this mission.”
“We are excited to expand our partnership with BMW i and serve as BMW’s official Formula E works team beginning in Season 5,” said Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport and its global family of race teams. “The ongoing collaboration between BMW and Andretti Formula E has provided a strong foundation for BMW’s entry as an official manufacturer. We look forward to running BMW’s first all-electric racing drivetrain and competing for the Formula E Championship.”